Exhibiting Date: 4th -9th April, 2017 10:30am – 10:00pm (only 4th April open 10:30am –12:00pm)
Reception Date: 5th April, 2017 5:00pm – 7:00pm (Venue: Triennale di Milano Cubo A)
5th April 5:00pm Live Performance by SISYU, calligraphic artist
Venue: Triennale di Milano
Address: Viale Alemagna, 6-20121 Milano
Space Designer: Kimi Hasegawa
Supported by: ABLE & PARTNERS INC.

DESIGN ASSOCIATION npo will hold its "TAKUMI Exhibition” overseas for the first time as part of ABLE & PARTNERS JAPAN DESIGN WEEK in Milano 2017, which begins April 4 (Tue) at the Triennale di Milano in Italy. The content of the exhibition will fuse Japanese tradition and cutting-edge modern design. The traditional Japanese craft of Tsugaru lacquerware will have its own exhibition—a showcase first held during HIROSAKI DESIGN WEEK in Hirosaki City. In “JAPAN DESIGN WEEK,” visitors will be able to view films of DESIGN WEEK events held in Hirosaki City in Aomori, Asuka in Nara, Ureshino City in Saga, and Fujisawa City in Kanagawa. Works from top contemporary artists will be shown alongside works by three great historical Japanese artists— Itō Jakuchū, Toshusai Sharaku and Katsushika Hokusai—in “Ukiyo-e Inspired Exhibition”. The “Takumi Exhibition” will include six installations by contemporary creators from a wide range of genres, including the "SISYU Exhibition” of transcending calligraphy art by representative female calligrapher “SISYU” and the “Glowing Picture Book Exhibition - POUPELLE OF CHIMNEY TOWN-" by artist Akihiro Nishino.


Milano Triennale

Art exhibition to be held in Milan, Italy. Beginning in 1923 as a Biennale in the city of Monza in Italy, it was held in every other year for the purpose of revitalizing the relationship between art, industry and society, and it moved to Milan and became the Milano Triennale since 1933. Since then, it has been an important engine for the development of art and industry in both culturally and economically, in the fields of interior, design, fashion for over 80 years.

Triennale Design Museum

It attracts visitors with a variety of expressions in design as the first design museum in Italy. It is known as a place where you can learn the history of design in Milan, which is in the limelight as the cutting edge of fashion. It is a place where you can learn about the history of design in Milan which gets attention from all over the world as cutting edge of fashion. The building was built as a venue for the Milan Triennale during the Mussolini administration.Also it is known as Palazzo dell'arte (art gallery), art objects are placed in the surroundings and it is known as one of the most prestigious venues in Milano Salone.

Address: Viale Alemagna 6, Palazzo dell'Arte, 20121 Milan, Italy
5 minutes walk from "Cadorna FNM-Triennale‎" Subway Station
Phone number: +39 02 724341
Website: http://www.triennale.org/
E-mail: info@triennale.org


Hirosaki Tsugaru Nuri
Design Project

A product developing project that aims for revival of Tsugaru Nuri with local craftsman. Since the new products are designed by Toshiyuki Kita who has a worldwide reputation, it is aimed to be marketable with a high degree of recognition. In addition, with bringing a profound effect from overseas, it also aims to expand domestic demand, and extend to the market in Japan.

Exhibition: Hirosaki City / Lacquerware Cooperative Association of Aomori Prefecture

Craftsman: Kubo Yuji, Ishioka Kenichi, Kobayashi Masakazu, Masukawa Yasuharu, Fukushi Takeaki, Amano Kotone, Akimoto Katsuhiko, Tsuchida Wataru, Sawada Hiroshi, Kobayashi Shikki, Kon Wood, Ajyara Koubou

Toshiyuki Kita(Designer)

Began designing in Japan and Milano from 1969. Many of his works are selected for permanent collections in museums world-wide. He is also very active as creative producer in multiple fields such as revitalizing and promoting various local Japanese traditional crafts and industries.

About Tsugaru nuri
The history of Tsugaru -nuri dates back to the Edo period, about 300 years ago. In 1975 it is officially designated as traditional crafts of the country. From painting the surface of Cypress tree, and repetition of sharpening and polishing, the solid and elegant lacquer ware is born after completing a long process of over forty steps for more than two months. The four types of techniques "Kara-nuri", "Nanako-nuri", "Monsha-nuri", and "Nishiki-nuri" have been handed down to the present.

Contact Info
Federated Cooperative of lacquer ware in Aomori prefecture



Kogin-zashi was originally developed during the Edo period to make farm clothes warmer and more durable in the cold Tsugaru region. Today, this needlework technique is still prized for its beauty. CO-GIN STITCH brings the style and technique of Kogin-zashi to contemporary fashion, complete with interchangeable collars and cuffs. The prefix CO- comes from the idea of unification through working together. Creating fashion together with craft, and the future together with the past.



2005 They launched matohu and started participating in JFW from 2006. After that, they presented at the Tokyo Collection.
2008 They designed the uniform for the Japanese pavilion in the World Expo held in Zaragoza, Spain. 2009 They received the Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix New Designer Award and the Shiseido Sponsorship Award. In the same year, they presented at the Asia Fashion Federation Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam. 2011 They held the 'matohu Beauty of the Keicho' exhibition at the Spiral Garden hall in Minami Aoyama. July 2011 They opened a company store in Omotesando.
They launched a fashion show for Hiroshi Sugimoto in Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art.
October 2011 They participated in the 'FEEL AND THINK: A NEW ERA OF TOKYO FASHION' exhibition at the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery.
2012 They participated in the same exhibition at the Kobe Fashion Museum. In the same year from July they held the 'matohu the Japanese Eye: Finding the Beauty Concealed in Everyday Life' exhibition in the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa.

About Kogin Embroidery
Kogin embroidery was developed from Sashiko, quilting clothes for heat insulation and reinforcement of fabric, by female farmers who lived in the middle of harsh nature of the northern Japan region. Kogin is embroidering linen by cotton threads with geometric patterns according to a certain rule, and there are three types of it; "Higashi Kogin", "Nishi Kogin", and "Three-striped Kogin".

Contact Info
Hirosaki City


Tsugaru Bird Whistle

Hatobue; a flute shaped pigeon made by "Tsugaru Yaki". It sounds peep when you play. With uniting the traditional technique of Hatobue(Shitakawara pottery) and Tsugaru Yaki which grow up in Hirosaki, a brand new cute Hatobue is born. The pattern of the wings is sea‐cucumber image which is representative of Tsugaru Yaki.


+st / Shizuka Tatsuno

Graduating from the Kingston University London with a First Class Honours in Product & Furniture Design BA, Shizuka has since established her own design studio, +st (“plus st”), in Tokyo - Japan 2011. Focusing on furniture, interior and fashion accessory design, Shizuka oversees the entire end-to-end design service from planning, project management and graphic design. Shizuka has received Young Japanese Design Talents Award by ELLE DECOR JAPAN EDITION in 2016.

About Shitakawara Pottery's Earthenware Dolls
These dolls appeared during the latter half of the Edo Period. A potter produced daily necessities, and in the winter he also created the dolls, hence the beginning of the earthenware dolls in Aomori. Red earth and sand are mixed together to form clay, which is put into a plaster to shape the doll. It is then fired at 800 degrees for a several hours, and then painted to create the finished design. The pigeon whistles and the zodiac figurines are famous, which are simple in form having tranquil expressions.

About Tsugaru Pottery
Originally there were four types in Tsugaru pottery which are Hirashimizu-yaki, Osawa-yaki, Shitakawara-yaki, and Akudo-yaki. Although the kiln was once abolished around the end of the Taisho era, the present Tsugaru pottery was revived in 1943. By using "Tenmoku glaze", or the " Apple glaze" which is made of ash of apple trees, the pottery is completed as a simple but unique art craft.

Contact Info
Hirosaki City



Handmade Costume Jewelry Brand

Designer Ogawa Tomoko was given the name "Tomokissima" by her ballet master, at the age of 20. In Italian, the extension "–issima" indicates the superlative of the name itself. In time, this nickname gained so much fame, that one day Tomoko herself realized everyone started calling her "Tomokissima".

Launching her "costume jewelry" brand, Tomoko's wish was to make costumers feel in someway superlative wearing her jewels. To achieve this primary goal, her artistic sensibility is the leading aspect in the process of creating always something excellent. She collects interesting materials from all over the world, using a technique developed on her own. What comes out of her atelier aren’t just products, but works of art.

Tomokissima started in 2010 as a brand and is exclusively made in Milan.


2016 Exhibited a capsule collection for Takashimaya Department Store "Nippon monogatari"
TOMOKISSIMA x "Tsugaru" (lacquering technique as a traditional technical art)
2015 Exhibited at SUPER (Pitti Immagine Group) Fall Winter 2015-16 collection and Spring Summer 2016 collection
Gained nomination as one of active creator, own portrait photo was displayed in photo exhibition "EXPOSE 184 CREATIVI PER MILANO"
2014 Gained nomination as one of the foremost eight Jewelry designers:
"Please! HAS CRUSH ON" from French high-fashion magazine "PLEASE MAGAZINE"
2013 TOMOKISSIMA Shadow necklace was on cover of "HERS", Japanese high-fashion magazine
2012 Exhibited first TOMOKISSIMA Costume Jewelry collection
2011 Established own brand, TOMOKISSIMA Costume Jewelry in Milan
2010 Participated "the Venice Biennale" as contemporary dancer and performed various works of choreographers
2007 After graduated from ACCADEMIA TEATRO CARCANO, performed various works.
2002 Entered into ACCADEMIA TEATRO CARCANO for professional ballet course
1986 Born in Milan (Italy)


Local municipalities host original design week events utilizing the intellectual and creative resources of the region. This project aims to inspire regional pride and develop human resources by creating and transmitting original content with Design Week.


DATE: 2016.4.23(Sat) - 5.4(Wed)
VENUE: Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture


DATE: 2016.10.8(Sat) - 10.10(Mon)
VENUE: Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture


DATE: 2017.2.11(Sat) - 2.12(Sun)
VENUE: Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture


DATE: 2017.2.5(Sun) - 2.12(Sun)
VENUE: Sano City, Saga Prefecture


DATE: 2016.11.25(Fri) - 12.18(Sun)
VENUE: Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture


DATE: 2016.7.16日(Sat) - 7.17(Sun)
VENUE: Ashihara City / Takatori Town / Asuka Village, Nara Prefecture

SISYU, an Artist of Liberation; from 2D to 3D

Japanese art is rooted in the white and black expression by brush, defined as “SHO (or calligraphy).” Ukiyoe, which attracted Gogh, is also an art of “SHO’s lines.”
The lines in Ukiyoe seem to appear flat on the paper, but they are remains of engraved surface on the woodblocks. Likewise, letters are originally engraved in bones.
SISYU liberates SHO from tradition. The brush stroke liberated from 2D and tradition dances without any limitation in the air.

(Calligraphic Artist)

Using calligraphy, Sisyu has established herself as an artist in Japanese calligraphy and expanded by incorporating them into sculptures, media arts, and paintings. Sisyu is projecting these art forms to the world.


Akihiro Nishino Glowing Picture Book Exhibition - POUPELLE OF CHIMNEY TOWN-

There was a town that has never known the outside world after being surrounded by a cliff of 4000 meters. The town is full of chimneys. Smoke keeps rising from morning till night and clouds are always all over head. People, living in chimney towns are trapped in black smoke, so they have seen neither the blue sky nor the shining stars. This is a miracle story of a garbage man and a boy of chimney sweeper, born in such a city.

Published in October 2016. The latest work. Japan's current best seller. A hit of 270,000 copies. Completed within four and a half years with 33 illustrators participated in the division of labor system. For this picture book, 9550 people contributed 56.5 million yen in 2 cloud funding.

Akihiro Nishino

Born in Japan in 1980. Performs live activities and TV appearances as a comedian. Also performs scenarios and directing the stage and film, and writing activities. In 2009, he made his debut as a picture book author with a picture book "Dr. Ink's Starry Sky Kinema", written with a single 0.03 mm monochrome pen. After that, "Zip & Candy" "The Music Box Planet" was published. The latest work "POUPELLE OF CHIMNEY TOWN" is produced with 33 illustrators participated in the division of labor system. Currently in Japan 270,000 copies. The next work "We are in love at the clock tower" is also under production.



TAKUMI Exhibition

"From Japan to the World"
"Takumi" dotted all over in Japan will become a pillar of future creative in Japan. Furniture, fashion, products, food, line up the concepts of manufacturing in Japan and artworks with technology installed.

Ukiyo-e Inspire Exhibition

The origin of Japanese art. "Ukiyo-e Inspire Exhibition" which was born as a special exhibition of past and contemporary creators took up Itō Jakuchū in 2012, Hokusai Manga in 2014, Sharaku in 2016. Top domestic creators will exhibit art works as Japanese Takumi.

Exhibitors: Atsuki Kikuchi, JUN OSON, Katsumi Asaba, KAZUFUMI NAGAI, Kazunari Hattori, kenjiro Sano, Kimi Hasegawa, Kintaro Takahashi, Kirishi Akira Nagaya, KosukeTsumura, Masaaki Hiromura, OHGUSHI, SU